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AstraZeneca: integrated customer information management

Accenture helps design and implement a comprehensive customer relationship management solution to meet AstraZeneca’s marketing transformation goals.


AstraZeneca is a major international health care business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals; and the supply of health care services.

It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with health care sales of more than $21.4 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology and neuroscience products. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4 Good Index. The United Kingdom is AstraZeneca's home market. The company's UK operations comprise AstraZeneca's global headquarters, Research and Development sites, manufacturing facilities, a clinical research group, and the local marketing company, which is headquartered near Luton, Bedfordshire.

The AstraZeneca story demonstrates two principles uncovered through Accenture’s extensive exploration of High Performance Business. One, high-performance businesses are masters of marketing and customer management. Two, a key characteristic of these masters is their ability to translate foresight and insight into marketing productivity, by extracting and applying value-adding insights and using customer data strategically.


The UK marketing company is an 1,800-person organization supporting the development of AstraZeneca's business in two important ways. First, it oversees an extensive clinical research program providing essential data and feedback as a product progresses toward market. Second, it drives all sales and marketing operations in the United Kingdom.

AstraZeneca's UK marketing company has initiated a comprehensive information strategy. The cornerstone of this strategy involved replacing the company's core sales, marketing and medical information systems with a new, integrated customer relationship management program, which would combine new systems, business processes and improved information functionality.

For help in developing the information strategy and selecting—and then implementing—the new customer relationship management program, AstraZeneca turned to Accenture. In addition to its deep industry skills and broad experience helping companies develop and apply leading-edge marketing insights, Accenture had already proven its commitment to helping AstraZeneca achieve high performance through a successful program of simplifying business processes across the organization.


Accenture quickly assembled a multi-disciplinary team of professionals with deep skills in change management, customer relationship management and sales force automation to work with AstraZeneca's UK marketing company to design a customer relationship management solution that would not only deliver an integrated view of customer data, but also support process and data integration across the sales, marketing and medical information areas of the business. The goal was to improve the company's ability to use information to make timely operational decisions, and to enable the measurement of key business capabilities' efficiency and effectiveness.

After working with client resources to gather and analyze AstraZeneca's functional and technical requirements, the Accenture-led team determined that Oracle's Siebel Life Sciences—one of the most comprehensive suites of customer relationship management and employee relationship management applications available to the pharmaceutical sector—was best suited to serve as the platform for AstraZeneca's ambitious solution. Drawing on its deep knowledge of Siebel software, Accenture set out to tailor the Siebel Life Sciences solution to best meet AstraZeneca's needs. The resulting Siebel business solution comprises multiple, integrated product lines—including Siebel Pharma, Siebel Remote and Siebel Handheld—that work together to help the company achieve high levels of organizational alignment, information sharing and business insight across multiple lines of business, as well as within each business line across sales, marketing and medical areas.

A key part of the solution involved Accenture working with AstraZeneca to design performance-related measures and indicators that enable the UK marketing company directors and managers to have visibility into key metrics and performance measures.

To enable this capability, the Accenture and AstraZeneca team designed, built, tested and deployed Oracle's Siebel Analytics 7.7.1 using Informatica ETL (extract, transform and load) processes. The Siebel Analytics design and implementation effort involved developing 22 custom subject areas to support business analysis, integrating four sales data sources, developing 85 ETL processes to support automated processing of business information and developing 1,500 business metrics to support flexible analysis.

This solution component, which was delivered through a suite of 15 online analytics dashboards, enables office and field-based teams to access key business metrics and assess their performance against targets.

Accenture also collaborated with AstraZeneca's UK marketing company to design and deploy a mobile information management solution that extended the Siebel business solutions to 1,200 field sales representatives. Built on Dell PDA devices and using Oracle's Siebel Field Service software, this solution component enables AstraZeneca's sales force to improve productivity, access customer and account details, record customer interactions and call notes, update customer profiles and access information that will prepare them for their next customer meeting. Finally, to ensure that the UK marketing company field and office-based teams would use the new customer relationship management tools to their greatest advantage, Accenture spearheaded a comprehensive change program that included training UK marketing company staff on the new system via e-learning, classroom and one-to-one methods, and developing and rolling out a full communications program.

As part of this change initiative, Accenture worked closely with the UK marketing company to improve a number of business processes, including call planning and interaction capture, as well as other key marketing, medical, user support, post-call and help desk processes. Throughout the project, Accenture focused on delivering an innovative, high-quality solution within a challenging time frame. Toward this goal, the Accenture and AstraZeneca team facilitated cross-functional workshops and continually exposed users to the solution as it was being developed. They conducted iterative testing of solution components, minimized Oracle's Siebel software customization and system workflows/authorizations and held weekly meetings with AstraZeneca executives to closely track progress against milestones.


With Accenture's help—and within just eight months—AstraZeneca designed and delivered a comprehensive customer relationship management solution to 1,800 employees. Deploying this solution marks a significant milestone for AstraZeneca. The customer relationship management solution provides a common process model featuring:

  • A single selling model with 15 core business processes documented and visible to all UK marketing company employees.

  • Integrated national, regional and customer marketing plans, aligned to brand objectives.

  • Mobile information technology, delivered via handheld PDAs, which improves call planning, data capture, call quality and information sharing.

  • Standardized, shared and tracked terminology, customer definitions and brand attributes across AstraZeneca's sales, medical and marketing organizations.

  • A comprehensive user support organization and infrastructure including help desks, business processes, standard operating procedures and knowledge-sharing programs.

The process model provides input for a single performance dashboard that tracks more than 30 key performance indicators in near-real-time. This enables users to make timely operational decisions and to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of key business capabilities. Accenture continues working with AstraZeneca to help ensure that the new system and processes are embedded in the organization, are achieving the desired benefits, and are advancing the company's aspirations for high performance.

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